Discussion Paper (continued)
By Todd D. Gerarden, Richard G. Newell, Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert C. Stowe, Executive Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program; Manager, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
Improving end-use energy efficiency—that is, the energy-efficiency of individuals, households, and firms as they consume energy—is often cited as an important element in efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Arguments for improving energy efficiency usually rely on the idea that energy-efficient technologies will save end users money over time and thereby provide low-cost or no-cost options for reducing GHG emissions. However, some research suggests that energy-efficient technologies appear not to be adopted by consumers and businesses to the degree that would seem justified, even on a purely financial basis.
"Facilitating Linkage of Heterogeneous Regional, National, and Sub-National Climate Policies Through a Future International Agreement"
Linkage among emissions-reduction systems can reduce cost and advance equity, enhancing the chances for success of a new 2015 climate agreement.
The authors explore relationships among emissions-reduction commitments, investment in low-carbon technology, border-carbon adjustments, and international collaboration to address climate change.
This discussion paper explores the potential adverse impacts of unilateral climate policies on domestic energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries.
"The Optimal Energy Mix in Power Generation and the Contribution from Natural Gas in Reducing Carbon Emissions to 2030 and Beyond"
The authors evaluate the consistency of economic incentives and climate objectives in Europe, with regard to energy markets. In this context, they examine policy interactions between the EU-ETS and Europe's renewable target—and the role of natural gas in a transition to a low-carbon economy.
The comparability of domestic actions to mitigate global climate change has important implications for the stability, equity, and efficiency of international climate agreements. the authors examine a variety of metrics that could be used to evaluate countries' climate change mitigation effort and illustrate their potential application for large developed and developing countries.
The author finds that, in theory, if countries agree to negotiate an international agreement in terms of a harmonized shadow price on carbon and if passage of the agreement is conditioned on a simple majority of countries voting in favor, then the incentives that countries face can lead to their agreeing to a uniform shadow price on carbon that is close to the price that would lead to an efficient outcome in terms of emissions abatement.
Does temperature affect economic performance—and has it always affected social welfare through its impact on physical and cognitive function? This paper presents a model of labor supply under thermal stress, building on a longstanding physiological literature linking thermal stress to health and task performance.
The authors draw upon the past decade of experience with carbon markets to test a series of hypotheses about why governments have demonstrated a preference for linking.
The author conducts a comparative analysis of fixed and intensity carbon targets, as these might be used in national policy or a multilateral climate agreement. The discussion is relevant to the ongoing UNFCCC negotiations on the 2015 Durban-Platform agreement.